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  1. #1
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    On hijacked threads:

    Typically a topic posted as a point develops lines of thread (“Hijacks”) as does a frozen point of moisture on a glass bus shelter (Which city in the world installed opaque-walled bus shelters?) develop lines of ice crystals which if left alone will cover a large area. The problem of hijacked threads seems therefore to arise as a direct result of a single topic which, as a zero-dimensional point can do little but offer itself as a seed from which one-dimensional lines of thought spread in all directions which if left unchecked would encompass all of human knowledge plus whatever can be found on the World Wide Web. A possible solution to the problem suggests itself: Start a thread with three disparate ideas related to an original source (me!), thereby defining a triangular area, and hope that thoughts that develop will confine themselves to the boundary defined in a 2-dimensional plane by the 1-dimensional lines identified by the three 0-dimensional thoughts.
    In the interests of this theory I therefore present three thoughts:

    I live and sleep alone with my cat Jupiter (Groan! Here we go again …). In the middle of the night, should I wake, I reach out and stroke Jupiter for comfort. I tickle him gently under his chin with the ball of my thumb, and he responds by purring. The tip of his tail tickles my nose, and, both greatly re-assured, we return to sleep until just before the ritual of the dawn patrol. It is strange to think that my primitive ancestors huddled together in a cave for comfort and built a fire at the entrance to keep Jupiter’s primitive ancestors at bay during the long, cold, dark nights.

    When it is –20c outside, even a heated bus will induce the occasional nasal drip, so the professional is garbed not only in dress pants, pressed shirt and matching tie, but carries a clean ironed handkerchief for reasons of polite public hygiene. A male’s white handkerchief, ironed flat, then folded once and creased, folded again and creased, folded again and creased, and folded again and creased, thus presents eight faces on each side of the handkerchief, a total of sixteen identifiable faces in all, two of which, of course, present themselves as the “outsides” of the folded handkerchief. It is a strange thought that by judicious use and careful re-folding a handkerchief can suffice for two weeks (fourteen days) and still present a clean exterior to the lining of the pocket.

    John Allen Paulos’s “Innumeracy” (1) notwithstanding, passengers on a bus play a game of reverse backgammon, in which the object, on boarding, is to avoid as much as possible placing two pieces on adjacent seats, to the extent of standing hanging on to a strap for an entire 35-minute trip at 120 km/hour down a major highway.
    (1) “Two aristocrats are out horseback riding and one challenges the other to see which can come up with the larger number. The second agrees to the contest, concentrates for a few minutes, and proudly announces ‘Three’. The proposer of the game is quiet for half an hour, then finally shrugs and concedes defeat.”

  2. #2
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    Analytical geometry does not consist merely in the application of algebra to geometry; that had been done by Archimedes and many others, and had become the usual method of procedure in the works of the mathematicians of the sixteenth century. The great advance made by Descartes was that he saw that a point in a plane could be completely determined if its distances, say x and y, from two fixed lines drawn at right angles in the plane were given, with the convention familiar to us as to the interpretation of positive and negative values; and that though an equation f(x,y) = 0 was indeterminate and could be satisfied by an infinite number of values of x and y, yet these values of x and y determined the co-ordinates of a number of points which form a curve, of which the equation f (x,y) = 0 expresses some geometrical property, that is, a property true of the curve at every point on it. Descartes asserted that a point in space could be similarly determined by three co-ordinates, but he confined his attention to plane curves.

    You project that "a zero-dimensional point can do little but offer itself as a seed from which one-dimensional lines of thought spread in all directions which if left unchecked would encompass all of human knowledge" which in itself is an interesting thought but begs the question, and a further projection from the root of Descartes original offering of " cogito ergo sum - I am thinking, therefore I am" are you to suggest that our conscience derives from nothing and portraying a creationistic viewpoint?
    Jerry

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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    I just came home from seeing the Clint Eastwood movie "Gran Torino" and I highly recommend it!

  4. #4
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    >careful re-folding a handkerchief can suffice for two weeks

    A friend of mine once swore that he could get six days out of a pair of underpants using a simple 'rotation' system and turning them inside out.

  5. #5
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    >A friend of mine
    I'm not surprised.

    >get six days out of a pair of underpants using a simple 'rotation' system
    Six? He was bragging, right?
    Inside out is a 2-multiplier
    Two legs is a 2-multiplier (also known I think as a rotator cuff)
    But Three?

  6. #6
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    >from two fixed lines
    Nice try, Jezza, but you can do better than this.
    Have another try.
    We are not dealing with FIXED lines here, but lines that appear to grow somewhat randomly.
    Rene Thom has as good a description as any in "Structural Stability and Morphogenesis" p67 (if you have the hard back 1975 English edition) where he considers the extremeties of the blastopore furrow of swallow's tails. I got sidetracked early on with his "lip" and 'beak" diagrams, but got it sorted out on the second reading.
    I hope to digest pages 68-69 this coming year.

  7. #7
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    >are you to suggest that our conscience derives from nothing and portraying a creationistic viewpoint?
    Absolutely not. I'm a disciple of Steven Pinker, and his "The Blank Slate" is waiting in line to travel with me on the 'bus the week after next.

    It continues to amaze me that the richness of the human brain arises in a bootstrap method from the fertilization of a single cell. Think of it often, as I do, that a single human cell, no bigger than an 8-pt Courier New period, splits and multiplies to become a mobile mass of fingernails, hair, lips feet and brain cells, and those brain cells, billions of them, build bridges, walk on the moon, and write awful bits of C++ and call it "Excel".
    All from one cell.
    Creationist it is not, its multiplicative randomness programmed by DNA, which of course brings us back full circle to Rene Thom's "Chaos".

    I have a clipping from UniView (University of Western Australia) "Exploring the Complex Teenage Brain" which I must re-read real soon now.

  8. #8
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    >Archimedes
    Of the Screw fame, right?
    Originally conceived as a means of raising fluid or near-fluid in a vertical sense. (the screw, not Archy)
    Later adapted to move fluid in a horizontal sense and use the reaction to drive a vessel (staffed by vassals) forward.
    As the example pasted below shows, Google Maps has caught a screwed vessel neatly navigating the (straight) ferry line from Cowes.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 1.JPG (27.1 KB, 1 views)

  9. #9
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    Why three points defining a plane in 3D space? Why not four, defining a solid in 3D space? Actually, as many physicists would argue, we may live in a 10D or 11D space; the extra dimensions just wrap up so tightly around themselves that we can't see them. Perhaps this would be why people get so tightly wound about the axle on some topics.

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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    Reminds me of the men in the army unit. . . after being out in the wilderness for 6 weeks, were told that they now would have the opportunity to change their underpants. . . . .bob could change with tom. . . .Harry could change with steve. . . . . . . .
    Michael

  11. #11
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    I refuse to <img src=/S/jollyroger.gif border=0 alt=jollyroger width=29 height=18> a thread entitled "Oh hijacked threads".

    Ooops

    <img src=/S/pirate.gif border=0 alt=pirate width=22 height=18>

  12. #12
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    Re: On hijacked threads:


  13. #13
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    And I thought you had some imagination!

    There are three holes in underpants? and three bits of fabric between them? Think about rotating vertically not just horizontally.

  14. #14
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    >Why not four, defining a solid in 3D space?
    I can't find the (Rene Thom again) page reference, but remember skimming through it this morning. "Minimizing the number of dimensions" necessary for an argument, was the drift.
    I don't mind a 4D space, or 10D or 11D. One of the first programs I wrote was a random walk in 9 dimensions of an oil-droplet; nine characteristics would be a better description.

    >Perhaps this would be why people get so tightly wound about the axle on some topics.
    I'm glad I'm not like that!

    But don't you mean "spiral", which is, after all, not really an extra dimension.

  15. #15
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    Re: On hijacked threads:

    >.bob could change with tom. . .
    That's what I like about Woody's lounge.
    I'd have never thought about swapping hankies with other people on the 82N Express out of Islington .....
    Roll on MONDAY!

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